Recipe and photo were shared with me by Skip Lombardi.
This delightful Italian Grilled Chicken Breasts recipe is a grilled version of the traditional
Skip Lombardi says, "Grilling always brightens my spirits. Recently,
I've been indulging in a little tweaking of Italian dishes by grilling-- rather than pan-searing--their primary components. But when New England Nor'easter storms are
buffeting the neighborhood, standing outdoors in 35-knot winds and horizontal rain while tending a fire to grill chicken breasts is simply daft. Not wanting
to put my fall entertaining at the mercy of the weather gods, I have devised this grill-ahead rendition of Chicken Piccata. (As I discuss in Almost
Italian, this and most other "Italian" chicken dishes in the North American repertoire were invented on this side of the Atlantic.) Beyond the fact that its taste will take your
breath away, this is a great technique when you have guests . You can grill the chicken breasts at your leisure and keep them refrigerated until serving time.
Your invited diners get to see the glamorous part of the process when - like a maitre 'd in a tuxedo working tableside - you reheat the chicken breasts in
reduced white wine and lemon juice and plate them with a flourish."
Grilled Chicken Piccata Recipe - Picatta di Petto di Pollo alla Griglia:
Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 min
4 chicken breasts*
rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
Freshly-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup dry white
Juice of one (1) Lemon
lemon rind (zest, finely chopped
capers, rinsed and drained
4 tablespoon Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
* The U.S. Department
of Agriculture, as well as food agencies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere,
advises against washing poultry. Rinsing chicken will not remove or kill much
bacteria, and the splashing of water around the sink can spread the bacteria
found in raw chicken. Cooking poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit effectively
destroys the most common culprits behind food-borne illness.
Place the chicken breasts between two (2) sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Using the side of a cleaver or a meat mallet,
pound them to a uniform thickness of approximately 3/8 inch.
Place the breasts in a shallow pan and brush them with olive oil. Sprinkle the rosemary and pepper
on both sides of the the chicken and marinate at room temperature for approximately one hour.
Start a charcoal fire. When the coals have
developed a gray coating, and you can’t hold your open palm six inches over the
fire for a count of five, the fire is ready.
Grill the chicken breasts for approximately two
minutes per side, then remove them from the grill. Either proceed with the rest
of the recipe below or refrigerate the chicken breasts and store in aluminum
foil or a sealed container for up to 48 hours before completing the recipe.
When it’s time to finish the dish in the
kitchen, melt the butter with a pinch of salt in a sauté pan.
(The pan should be large enough to hold the chicken breasts in one layer.) When the butter has
melted and foamed, and the foam has subsided, add the chicken breasts. Shake the
pan and turn chicken pieces to coat with the butter.
Raise the heat to high and add the white wine.
Allow the wine to boil for a minute or two to evaporate the alcohol. Reduce heat
to medium and add the capers along with the lemon juice and rind (zest). Keep
liquid simmering, shaking the pan and turning the chicken breasts from time to
time. When the sauce has reduced and looks glossy, remove pan from heat.
To Serve, spoon a tablespoon of the sauce over
each breast. Serve the chicken, with any remaining sauce, on warmed dinner
plates. Sprinkle parsley over each portion.
Accompaniments: Tuscan roasted potatoes and
sautéed spinach (as photographed) make delicious contorni. Warmed, crusty bread
and a simple green salad would be equally welcome
Makes 4 servings.